But then a light was seen through the darkness. Was this a sign that The D were not yet done? And then the light became brighter, and increased in luminosity, until it was very bright indeed. So bright in fact, that it entered our hearts, and let us know that like the Phoenix, The D had risen again!
Ok, so basically that was a long and silly way of saying that Tenacious D were written off after a poorly received second album, but have triumphantly returned with a new opus, Rize Of The Fenix. And it’s a blistering return to form. Back are the brilliant voice only shorts that were the hallmarks of the first album. I dare you not to laugh out loud in a public place when listening to ‘Flutes & Trombones’. And I defy you not to ruin yet more underwear in a laughter based accident when listening to ‘Classical Teacher’.
Of course there are the type of rocking tunes that made The D famous in the first place present here as well. Using the highly successful formula of melding greatly immature but undeniably amusing (and at times hilarious) lyrics with the vocal talent of Jack Black and the guitar work of both he and Kyle Gass (not to mention the return of Dave Grohl on drums), The D rock your face off with scorching tunes. The title track is a great example, fusing brazenly juvenile lyrics with some virtuoso guitar work from Kage (Kyle Gass) and another soaring vocal performance from Jaibles (Jack Black). It’s important to acknowledge the genius in the musicianship behind the humour. Whilst there’s always a risk that the musical ability can be lost in the humour, The D once more make sure that it shines through and that it strides powerfully alongside it, posing a juggernaut double assault on the listener. Another Tenacious D hallmark, their acoustic work, is also strongly represented here, with perhaps ‘39’ being the best such tune of the album. The array of styles shown on this album is another strong point, with full on metal assaults (‘Deth Starr’), mariachi madness (‘Señoriota’) rockabilly rampage (‘Rock Is Dead’) and even 80’s style synthesiser driven destruction (‘To Be The Best’) all sitting comfortably alongside each other.
To melt down the previous 391 words into something more coherent and cogent, Tenacious D have basically reverted to the formula that made their first album such a success, and upped the song writing from the Pick Of Destiny to a whole new level above it. Rize Of The Fenix has done exactly what it’s title sets out, and this album will sit along their debut in Tenacious D’s pantheon. A thrilling, majestic and utterly excellent return to form, this album will surely feature in many ‘best of’ end of year lists. And if it doesn’t, you need to have words.